Re: Yet more amp help needed

AJ Johnson wrote:

> I've enjoyed the recent thread on the Spirit vs. R.I. and learned a
> few things. I am especially interested in the use of a cabinate if
> speakers as an extension of a smaller amp. I currently have a Smicz
> Portablues harp amp that I really like the tone of. One commenter
> stated that smaller amps can drive a speaker cabinate and project the
> sound better. Do you lose some of what made you love the small amp in
> the first place in doing this?

Well, obviously you'll get the sore back lugging a big extension cab
that you thought getting a small amp would prevent! :-)  But I think
what you're refering to is the sound of an overdriven speaker.  Yes, you
might lose that to a degree but if you read my original post I also
mentioned making sure you use an extension cab loaded with very
efficient, low wattage speakers, this will help to keep some of that
speaker breakup.  P10R type speaker clones would be the obvious choice,
my first choice would be Webers with the "H" harp dust cap.

> Will I really be able go toe to toe with the guitar gods as the night
> wears on and their volume creeps up? Any thoughts here would be
> greatly appreciated.

Truthfully, probably not if they play at obnoxious levels.  It's a fact
of life that harp mics will feedback at a much lower volume threshold
than electric guitar pickups.  Even if you blow through a 100 watt
Fender Twin that amp will feedback with a harp mic way before it can get
to a volume level that may compete with a guitar player who's cranking
only a 30 watt amp.  Yeah, you can do some tube swaps, amp mods, EQing
etc. that will help some, but if you're jamming with half deaf SRV
wannabes, you're probably not gonna compete unless you mic or line out
the amp to the PA.  But increasing the amount of speaker area and
projection by using an extension cab does help a lot in my experience.

> Smicz offers an extension cab so there is something avalible to me
> that should be a good fit with the amp. As a side note I also have a
> Sonny Jr 1 and even with this am sometimes drowned out so my hope is
> that extra speakers will help. I am aware that the real solution is to
> ask the band to return to a reasonable volume so we don't all go deaf
> and so the patrons can co! nverse without having to shout but I'm
> often just a guest sitting in and don't feel really comfortable trying
> to direct a band I'm not a part of.

I would think that running a Smicz with an extension cab (I think you
can special order the Smicz cabs with the Weber speakers I mentioned)
and the Sonny Jr. together on each side of the stage should get you
heard!  If that doesn't do it, maybe smacking the guitar players on the
side of the head might to the trick! ;-)  Obviously, that's lugging a
lotta stuff for a jam situation.  If memory seves me correctly, don't
both the Sonny Jr. and Smicz amps have line outs?  If so sometimes just
bringing an extra instrument cord, using the line out feature, and
asking the band to let you plug into the PA board will get you heard,
(sometimes band guys freakout about you asking to mic an amp but don't
seem to mind as much if you line out).  When lining out, just remember
to have the band soundman turn down the treble control on the channel
you're using.  Line outs will usually sound much brighter/treblier than
what you hear in the amps speakers.
    To be truthful when sitting with bands as a guest nowadays I rarely
use an amp and just rely on a good PA mic direct into the board.  I know
that I can usually compete volumewise then, and just rely on getting a
good natural fat tone outta my lungs.  It's a good way to force you into
developing your own good tone.  It's the way James Cotton does it, you
can't argue with his tone!

> Be well, AJ Johnson

Good luck,
Don D.

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